Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems.” - UBITENNIS
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: “I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems.”



TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pre-tournament interview.


Q. Can you just describe your season so far, how you feel about it.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I can describe it. It was not that good. Usually I start better in my year, but, you know, it’s tennis. I had many problems last year on the second half of the season with my knees and it was not easy to deal with it, so I lost a bit of time with that.

And then to come back and find your best level is never it’s never easy. So it was a tough start, but, you know, I still believe I can play good tennis. During all these months I worked pretty hard. So I think I’m ready, anyway, now to play.


Q. How far from your, you know, consistently good level do you think you are?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I don’t know yet, to be honest, because I didn’t play enough matches to be sure. But anyway, I know, like I said just before, I know I worked hard, and, you know, I can’t do more than this.


Q. Do you think that then the pressure is off you coming into Roland Garros? You have had good results here because of your season so far. Do you think you’ll be a lot calmer not expecting as much as perhaps when you’ve been doing very, very well?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Not really, because anyway, you know, I expect a lot from me, especially here. I know it’s always a lot of pressure, but I think now I have enough experience. I played a few times Roland Garros. I know how is it.

I always play my best tennis here, so I hope I will continue on this way and play good tennis.


Q. There are lots of Frenchmen, French players in the draw doing well.



Q. Perhaps too many (smiling). Does that take the pressure off? What does that show about French tennis?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: It show we have a good it shows that the Federation did a great job with the young guys. Now we don’t have, you know, a top player, I mean, in the top 5 since a couple of years now, so we need to improve on this.

But anyway, it shows that the French tennis is in good shape.


Q. You have been one of the players who we say in English has been knocking on the door of, you know, the top 5, 4, against the guys that are winning most of the majors. Do you feel now that because of Wawrinka that that door is a little bit more open, or is it still the same door is there?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: You know, I always even before Stan, you know, I always tried to keep the door open (smiling). You know, since I’m playing tennis, you know, I dream about the best results, the best tournaments, and I will continue. That’s how I will give my best on the court.

So I think it’s my philosophy, and I will never think it’s impossible to do it.


Q. Do you feel that Rafa is more vulnerable this year on clay, or is it crazy to think that in best of five sets?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: If we have to look at the results these last couple of weeks, of course we can say that. But when we look, you know, in the past, there is no reason to say Rafa is different than the other years.

You know, he’s still the same guy, the same champion, and I’m sure he wants to win again here in Roland Garros.


Q. How do you feel physically, before anything else, and also mentally before this very special tournament for you? How did you feel when you practiced here?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: I feel pretty good, but you should never rely on what is happening during practice, because only matches will show what you are worth.

So today, yes, I feel good. I feel good physically. I have no problems. I’m very happy to be here.

So for the time being all the green lights are on, and I hope I’m going to have a good tournament in this French Open.


Q. It’s never easy to play against a French player, and even less in this tournament. You’re going to play a French player you know well, but it’s also a way of getting into the tournament fast.

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, whatever, French or not, you rarely get into the tournament first round already. I will try my best on the court. Every time you step on to the court you’re just beyond the door and you know it’s going to be a new experience. Each time it is over it is always a new satisfaction.

With Edouard, we played several times against each other. I have the feeling that whatever happens, I always play Edouard the first round here. I don’t know why.

So it’s not funny, but…

It’s not funny for me, but I think it’s not funny for him, either.

So we’re going to play, and the best one will go to second round. Same thing as against a final.


Q. Apparently you’re fit, but maybe you have some issues with confidence. Do you believe it’s going to come back?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, I have a way of doing things. I’ve did things in my career, I met some goals that seemed maybe far away, and so at this stage of my career, what I’m doing is saying I want to be the best. I want to be best. I want to do things better.

And of course because of that I’m trying to change some things. And I did change many things, in fact, hoping that it’s going to be better.

But I also know it might take time, and you have to work a lot on these things. So long term work is important, too, because as soon as I try something new, if it doesn’t work out right, if I try to do something else, every time I change I’ll never make progress.

So what I’m doing is just choosing something I want to improve and work on it and do it as much as I can, knowing it might take some time before it is efficient.

Of course if after a whole year it’s still not working, well, then, maybe I’ll think about it and maybe change. But for the time being, the goal well, I’m talking about one year. It can be two years or three years. Depends on how strongly I believe in my project.

But anyway, it’s my project. What people say about me doesn’t matter. The important thing is when it is my project, I want to ‘m the one who wants to win the big tournaments.


Q. So you might play Djoko in the round of 16. Is it better than in the semis?

JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Well, to win a tournament like this you have to beat them all anyway. Whether I’m playing first round or playing the final    or maybe for the French Open for the crowd it’s different, but for me it doesn’t change anything.

I already played round of 16 matches and finals and semifinals. So as I said before, I always want to go further, and that’s what is interesting to me. I don’t want to repeat things and do the same things. I want to do things better.

One day if I believe I cannot make any more progress, I’ll be sitting here in front of you saying, Don’t count on me anymore. I’ll tell you I know I can’t do more.

But if I still am trying, it means I believe I can.


ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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Alcaraz Fell Victim To Unbeatable Medvedev

Carlos Alcaraz was no match for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals.



(@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

A star had to fall. There was no other way.


This time, Carlos Alcaraz was the victim. Daniil Medvedev was unbeatable.

The 6-6 Russian was everywhere, playing almost perfect tennis in a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Alcaraz.

So, one former champion went down while one advanced to Sunday’s final at the U.S. Open.

And then there was Novak Djokovic, another former champion headed for the title match.


The U.S. Open couldn’t lose once Djokovic dominated young American Ben Shelton, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Djokovic appeared to be content with just winning while getting the preliminaries over with. He seemed to be a little miffed by Shelton’s cockiness. There were no hugs or embraces when the match ended. Just a handshake.

Shelton has huge potential, but it’s going to take some time before he’s ready to join the likes of Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz. He’s a better athlete than he is tennis player.

Novak is ready to go for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Believe it or not, Medvedev will be playing in his fifth Grand Slam final.

Sunday should be a great day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with two former champs, Djokovic and Medvedev, going against each other.


The women’s final will be interesting. Can Coco Gauff compete with Aryna Sabalenka?

Sabalenka looked helpless against Madison Keys’ big strokes and serves in the first set of their semifinal on Thursday.

Sabalenka couldn’t win even one game in that set. She looked helpless.

But she obviously felt all along that she could beat Keys anytime she wanted. Or why else would the powerful Sabalenka go for broke on almost every shot? And it almost cost her.

Amazingly, Sabalenka waited almost to the final moments to decide to play within her game and stop the wildness.

Once Sabalenka decided to settle down and play to win, Keys went just the opposite way, similarly to her one-sided loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 U.S. Open final.

Keys appeared ready to win this time as she held a 6-0, 5-4 advantage over new world’s No. 1 Sabalenka, who seemed to be stumbling all over the court as she repeatedly hit wild shots in every direction.

Just like that, everything changed. Sabalenka started hitting winners everywhere as Keys reversed roles with Sabalenka. Not only did Sabalenka win the second set while dropping just one point in a tiebreaker, she stormed through a decisive 10-point third-set tiebreaker to win the match.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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